On any given day, we’re exposed to between 4,000 and 9,000 ads and new brands. Even if your brand has succeeded in cutting through the overwhelming noise, you face the (heavy) task of staying top of mind with your audience.
In the case of staying top of mind with mobile app use, competing for users’ attention is exceedingly tough. On average, less than 10 percent of mobile app customers are retained after the first two weeks. But on the flip side, mobile apps have the big advantage of being able to learn from data, observing behaviour and push updates to improve the product, and as a result engagement and retention.
The more someone uses your app, the more likely it is for the app’s use to become a habit. The use of apps like TikTok or Instagram encourage the scrolling of a feed. Weather apps that help users prepare for their day. These have become ingrained parts of daily life. For apps like Expedia that are only opened a few times a year, it’s much harder to stay top of mind.
Ideally, you can find a way to add daily value to your users. Even if you’re an app to plan a holiday! You can create a feature that allows you to add in future vacation dates, make a countdown showing inspirational images of the location so that people can check in and use it throughout the year. By doing this, frequency of use increases, and you stay on the radar.
What brands need to work out is the need that brings users back to the app time and again.
One approach is to notify them when there is something of value waiting for them in the app i.e. there is a new message waiting for them, an item they’ve saved has gone on sale, or new content just got published.
You can notify users in a few ways, most notably via email and push notifications. In both instances, you can set up triggered pushes based on an event occurring, this way you know that when you’re prompting them back to the app, you’re going to be delivering on value. Be choosy about when you send, if you spam users, they’ll simply unsubscribe or turn off notifications and then you’ve lost this really valuable outreach.
Another powerful tactic is to align your app as a solution to a common problem users might encounter. If you can successfully create this linkage, then when users have the problem, it will become a trigger to turn to your app.
Here’s an example:
In August 2020 saw the launch of the MVP of the app, Mys Tyler. Think of us as the Instagram for women’s fashion, except we match women with like-bodied content creators. By seeing outfits on a similar body, our users get a better sense of how different styles will look on them.
Women loved discovering body-relevant fashion content and the supportive nature of our community but because we were serving up a hyper-personalised experience, they were missing a large portion of incredible content. We needed to increase value to increase frequency of use, to stay top of mind.
In April 2022, we launched Daily Inspo. This has been the biggest feature update since our launch, and it is playing double duty across both adding value so we can notify them and acting as a trigger when women wake up and wonder “What should I wear?”.
Here’s how it works:
- We serve up a fresh prompt every day, showing how a selection of our creators of various sizes, shapes, heights, ages and ethnicities are styling the look, and then challenge them to give it a go.
We developed this feature based on a number of insights and observations:
- Users enjoy seeing the beautiful diversity of our community (beyond body-relevant content). This gives us permission to serve up more content and creators that they weren’t previously seeing.
- We now have over 20,000 outfits. With so much content or “inventory” we have opportunities to serve this up to users in ways that add value.
- Many women struggle to decide what to wear every day, and we revert to the same 20 percent of our closets the majority of the time. Daily Inspo was designed to help women to get creative with outfits by opening their wardrobes, not their wallets
Early results have exceeded our expectations. After launch, posts were up 60 percent MoM, returning users jumped 92 percent, and we’ve seen ‘likes’ on the platform more than double. Even better in a recent survey 87 percent of Daily Inspo users told us it had pushed them to wear items they hadn’t worn in a while! These are great early results and we’re just getting started.
So, when thinking about how you can keep your product, service or mobile app top of mind, start by paring it back to value and triggers.
Sarah Neill is the founder and CEO of Sydney startup, Mys Tyler.